SOUND TIGERS Vande Sompel leads charge in win
In both the first and third periods Saturday night in Belleville, Ontario, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers took a lead just past the period’s midpoint. The second one held up.
Mitch Vande Sompel scored in the first period and had his shot tipped home by Scott Eansor in the third to give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 win over the Belleville Senators at CAA Arena.
Christopher Gibson made 28 saves, including a couple of stops in the last minute, and one on Jack Rodewald on a two-on-one with 3:50 left. Vande Sompel kicked out his left skate in the crease to stop Nick Paul’s attempt on the rebound of Rodewald’s shot.
Bridgeport is 7-0-1-0 in its past eight games. After an overtime loss Wednesday morning in Hartford, it came back with a shootout win Friday at Laval and Saturday’s victory, which was the 200th win for Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson.
Vande Sompel had one point in his previous eight games, and he hadn’t scored a goal since opening night.
But Sebastian Aho found him sneaking in through the left circle to score the first goal. Travis St. Denis had started the play, getting in to retrieve the puck behind the Belleville net.
Eansor, who returned to the lineup Friday after losing 11 games to injury, deflected home Vande Sompel’s shot for his first goal of the season.
Adam Tambellini, younger brother of former Sound Tigers standout Jeff Tambellini, got the Senators on the board late in the first period on a power play. All four Sound Tigers were to Gibson’s right, leaving Tambellini open to the goalie’s left.
Defenseman Kyle Burroughs played his 200th AHL game. He’s the 15th Sound Tiger to play 200 games with Bridgeport.
Thompson, in his sixth season in Bridgeport, is 200-160-24-14. His first Sound Tigers team won the old Northeast Division in 2011-12. He spent the next two years as an assistant coach with Bridgeport’s parent club, the New York Islanders, then returned in 2014-15.
Returning home, the Sound Tigers next play Friday against Hartford.
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SOUND TIGERS 2, SENATORS 1
Bridgeport1 0 1—2
Belleville1 0 0—1
First Period — 1, Bridgeport, Vande Sompel 2 (Aho, C.Bourque), 10:03. 2, Belleville, Tambellini 7 (Carey, Rodewald), 17:54 (pp). Penalties — Jones, Bpt (roughing), 6:50; Wolanin, Bel (roughing), 6:50; St. Denis, Bpt (high-sticking), 7:30; Helgeson, Bpt (delay of game), 16:55; Wolanin, Bel (roughing), 18:04.
Second Period — No scoring. Penalties — Rathgeb, Bpt (slashing), 5:35; Wolanin, Bel (roughing), 12:18; Belleville bench, served Chlapik (delay of game), 14:43; Kubiak, Bpt (holding stick), 17:29.
Third Period — 3, Bridgeport, Eansor 1 (Vande Sompel, Kubiak), 10:03. Penalties — St. Denis, Bpt (interference), 11:51.
Shots on goal — Bridgeport 8-11-8—27. Belleville 8-12-9—29.
Power play opportunities — Bridgeport 0 of 3, Belleville 1 of 5.
Goaltenders — Bridgeport, Gibson 6-3-1 (29 shots-28 saves). Belleville, Paterson 0-1-0 (27-25).
Attendance — 2,477. Referees — Blandina, Gour. Linesmen — Borg, Dussureault.